Bedtime Battles - A Reprieve or Fixed?

Since I wrote this post, we have been consistently following through on these steps:
  • Gradual separation. Sit in X's room after reading him books, without talking to him, just being there until he is close to falling asleep. If he wakes up when leaving  the room, assure him that I'll be staying upstairs.
  • When he stays in his bed, slip a little treat under his pillow (hot wheels car, silly putty, that kind of stuff) and tell him the Sleep Fairy came and rewarded him for staying in his bed.
  • As that becomes routine, start leaving his room earlier, when he's more awake, and keep up the Sleep Fairy visits.
  • When he sleeps in his bed through the night, take him shopping for a toy of his choosing (within a budget, but pretty big)
With full knowledge that regression happens all the time, I'm happy to report that X has gone to bed willingly and stayed in his bed all night two nights in a row. Instead of shopping for a toy, I took him to breakfast to celebrate the first time he slept all night. The second night that he slept through the night, he bounded into our room in the morning asking if we were going to the pancake store again. uh...

There have been steps forward, steps backward, a couple of middle of the night tantrums when S put X back into his bed, and I had a more difficult time with the gradual separation as X sees me as the pushover. But, we stuck to the script and slowly but surely, it's been getting better, easier and faster to get him down for the night.

The Sleep Fairy left gifts when he would stay in his room and not fuss about us leaving. Then the Sleep Fairy stopped coming for a while when that became routine, but he was still getting up two or three times after we put him down for bed. You know, you leave the room, 20 minutes later he comes out for water, you put him back, 10 minutes later it's "I need something...." and so on. On nights that he stayed in his room after we left, the Sleep Fairy started leaving gifts again. This still included him getting up around 1 or 2am and coming into our room, which then meant that S would have to get up and put him back to bed. It's only been two nights so far that X has slept through the night without coming into our room, so it remains to be seen if it's a fluke or real progress. The Sleep Fairy will continue to leave gifts until the end of the week and then if he's stayed in his bed for several days in a row, the Sleep Fairy will leave a bigger gift. After that, the Sleep Fairy will retire to a sunny beach.